Sunday, December 18, 2011

Southwest Vegetable Soup

When I was doing my foodservice internship at Earhart Dining Court on the campus of Purdue University, I fell in love with their Southwestern Vegetable Soup.  With holiday festivities kicking into high gear this week, I thought it was a good time to make a comforting pot of my version of this favorite soup.  You'll find this soup loaded with both fresh and frozen veggies, chili beans and spicy flavorings.  Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your taste.  We like it pretty spicy!  This recipe makes a lot of soup but it freezes very well.  I like to serve this with cooked macaroni but I keep the noodles separate to avoid having them become soggy.  Just add a few noodles to your bowl, ladle over some soup and enjoy!!

Southwest Vegetable Soup

2 cups reduced sodium beef broth
12 ounces reduced sodium vegetable juice (like V8)
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
1/2 onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled, and sliced
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/4 cabbage, chopped
1/2 - 3/4 cup frozen green beans
1/2 - 3/4 cup frozen corn
1/2 - 3/4 cup frozen peas
1 (15 oz) can chili beans
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with chilies
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Cooked macaroni

Mix all ingredients together and place in a slow cooker.  Cook on high 4-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours.  Serve with cooked macaroni.

This soup would be wonderful with some beef stew meat added !

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Brown Bread Ice Cream

 So I'm hoping that some of you made the brown bread recipe that I posted last week.  I hope you enjoyed it - but I also hope you have a bit of it left over so you can make this brown bread ice cream recipe !! I know some of you are saying "Whhhh-aaa-ttt???" and others of you are screaming "Yeeessss !!" especially if you've ever had the privilege of having Murphy's brown bread ice cream in Dublin.  You can visit their website here:  The first time I heard about this flavor of ice cream, I was among the crowd shouting "Whhh-aaa-ttt???, that's the strangest thing I've ever heard of".  But then I tried it and fell head over heals in love.  So, then I get home and decide that I need to make some because I can't wait until I get back to Ireland to enjoy it.  Ice cream making is fairly simple but takes some time, so I decided to find the most natural ice cream I could at the store and use it.  I know I should take the time to make my own, but the ingredients in the all natural ice cream are the same ones I'd use at home and it saves me loads of time !!  So here is my quick version of brown bread ice cream, used by modifying the Murphy family recipe that I found on their website.  Please give it a try, it might just become your new favorite ice cream !!

Brown Bread Crumbs drying

Quick Brown Bread Ice Cream

2 cups brown bread crumbs, dried (you need about 4-5 slices of bread)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons water
1.75 - 2 qt All Natural Vanilla Ice Cream

Brown Bread, brown sugar and water mixture

Remove the crust and crumble the bread into pieces.  Let air dry overnight or until the crumbs are fairly dry.  Melt brown sugar and water until the sugar crystals are dissolved.  Stir in the crumbs until well coated and let cool.  Soften a container of ice cream and pour into a large bowl.  Stir the crumbs into the ice cream and return the mixture to its original container.  Refreeze until hard and serve.

Delicious crumb mixture and vanilla ice cream

Almost ready for the freezer

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Braised Pork Loin with Cabbage

Pork and cabbage have quite an affinity for one another.  Whether together or separate I love them both and this dish pairs the two perfectly.  Don't be afraid of the long list of ingredients - it's really not that bad and comes together quickly.  Once again Cooking Light hasn't let me down - but I have changed the original recipe a bit.  This is one of my all time favorite dinners.  I hope you like it too.

Pork Loin with Braised Cabbage
Cooking Light October 2006

2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2  teaspoon ground sage
1 (2 pound) pork loin
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
3/4 cup diced Canadian bacon (4 ounce)
14 cups sliced cabbage (2 pounds)
2 1/2 cups sliced onion
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (12 ounce) bottle dark lager (I used Sam Adam's original because it's what I had)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the first 5 ingredients; rub over pork.  Heat a large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with tablespoon of oil.  Add pork to pan and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. 
Remove from the pan.

Add bacon to pan and cook for 3 minutes.  Add cabbage, onion and carrot.  Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10-15 minutes or until cabbage begins to wilt, stirring occasionally.  Stir in tomato paste and next 5 ingredients.  Return pork to pan.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until meat is tender and 165-170 degrees when tested with a meat thermometer.

Serve with boiled Yukon Gold potatoes and enjoy.  This dish reheats really well and leftovers taste even better !!